GREAT FALLS — After watching other Frontier Conference teams play in December, the University of Providence basketball teams finally have games under their belts, and they're wasting no time getting back in the swing of things.
For the Argo women, this week marked their first games since winning the Frontier Conference tournament last season. UP is 1-1 after a split with Montana Tech on the road. But despite turnover issues and bad shot selection in the second game, UP still had a chance, losing 65-61. Head coach Bill Himmelberg said he's encouraged by the early efforts.
"They weren't down, we were focused, we knew what we had to do. They were able to go out there and get stops and make baskets and they felt the freedom to be able to shoot the shots they needed to shoot and be OK with missing them," Himmelberg said. "And (Tuesday) night, they happened to go in and we were able to make them and put ourselves in a position to give ourselves a chance to win, which is what every team wants."
Meanwhile, Providence’s men started 2-0 after sweeping Tech in two high-scoring affairs. Zaccheus Darko-Kelly led the way with a pair of double-doubles, but he’s equally as excited about the new depth Providence has with the additions of junior transfers Cap Uzan, Marcus Stephens and Davien Harris-Williams.
"They really bring some shot-creating ability, play-making ability, which allows us to be a little deeper than we were last year," Darko-Kelly said.
UP's first set of home games is Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10 against Carroll College. The Saints have given the Argos fits in the past, and head coach Steve Keller hopes that improved depth will help.
"They've got offensive rebounds on us and then we didn't shoot the ball," Keller said. "They're very good defensive team. We feel like we're a lot harder to guard this year, so hopefully that'll cause them some problems."